I know folks love to bash the reality TV shows, heck there is probably even a reality show to see who’s best at bashing reality programming. The Bashelor, Are Your Smarter Than A Reality Star, The Not-So-Amazing Race of Humans That Created Reality TV. But, when you look at the aim of the programming, it’s rather encouraging. I think that actual reality, for the majority, is a gauntlet of repetition and searches for base gratification. But reality TV strives for something greater. It attempts to present reality as the most engaging and exciting experience anyone could hope for. Let’s embrace that ideal for a moment and see what we can learn from the reality that is presented to us as reality on television.
1. PLAN AHEAD: The most exciting moments in reality TV are contrived, if not fully scripted, scenarios. A fight, a surprise change of heart, a meal that turned out much better than the chef expected. Incorporating a healthy dose of forethought and planning into you life can seemingly guarantee excitement.
2. EDIT OUT THE BORING PARTS: While you are a contestant on a reality show, they are constantly filming you. Capturing everything you do. Then, they edit out all of the dull and uninteresting portions of your day and show us only the most fascinating moments. Imagine if you took a proactive, self-aware attitude towards that philosophy. Live as if you are editing out the mundane. Every time you feel yourself getting bored take an action to spice things up.
3. ELIMINATE UNPOPULAR CONTESTANTS: Reality shows have judges or call-in voting to decide who stays and goes. In your life, you are the one and only judge. You can choose to eliminate friends and family at your discretion. You don’t even need a good reason. How exciting is that?
4. NAME YOUR GOAL: The folks on The Biggest Loser are not trying to be America’s Next Top Model; they’re trying to be the biggest loser. Every reality show has a clearly defined objective. It provides the contestants with focus and purpose. You most likely will not get what you want if you never say what you want.
5. PLAY TO WIN: As in life, most people on the reality shows do not win. Typically there is only one winner per season. But, everyone gets in there and gives it their best. They try to be the winner. The dedication to really go for your dream even though you know there is an overwhelming chance you will fail takes character and confidence.
For all of these points there is only one thing stopping you from doing them. Will. I think many people do enact versions of the above list into their lives on a daily basis. But, it all comes to will. Do you have the will to tell your mother to never call you again? Do you have the will to start a dance routine in the middle of your office because you know it would be more exciting than finishing the monthly sales report? Do you have the will to take out every dish in the cabinets and lay them out on the floor to confront your roomie about never doing the dishes? Someone on a reality show would.
You watch reality television to escape the reality of you actual life. Imagine the real possibilities if you had the will to make your own reality something you would watch.